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  1. #1
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    Estimating development times

    I have made a very great potential connection with a startup that needs some back-end (PHP) development help. My experience in minimal, which they are aware of (they like this, in part due to costs).


    I have settled on a fair $ per hour number but I now need to decide how many hours each of these projects will take. I have a rough estimate but because my experience is so minimal it's hard for me to gauge what is fair for both myself and for them.

    Anyone have any resources that may be of some assistance? Anything is helpful...

  • #2
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    I realize you probably can't tell us too much about the site (it might be secret?),
    but you need to tell us more about what PHP programming you're talking about.
    Does it involve MySQL, CMS, online e-commerce, pre-existing scripts, or something you
    are making on your own?

    The PHP programming and development might be the BIGGEST part of the project.
    Websites these days are dynamic, so the content is all rendered by PHP. The actual
    design of the site layout and graphics might only be 20% of the work.

    You also have to take in account the possibility of re-using some of the scripting.
    As you mention "projects" (plural), by using some of the scripting over again, that
    might save a lot of time and effort. Again, we are going to need more information about
    what the "projects" really are ... without telling us too much?

  • #3
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    I've signed an NDA so I can't give too many specifics.

    I've got a whole list of things that need to be done with a timeline and again I legally can't really get into them and realistically they are so different that it wouldn't be worth everyone's time to go through that all.

    An example of something that needs to get done, more enriched profile management--such as a profile picture. This is an easy enough task, but i really have no clue how long this should take.
    Last edited by tspek; 02-22-2010 at 09:13 PM.

  • #4
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    I feel sort of bad for you ... in that I have a hunch you'll be losing money
    on this project unless you bid the amount high enough. But it doesn't sound
    like you did. I understand about the NDA. There's not much I can say ...
    each part of the project involves two parts .. 1) the user screens, 2) the admin screens,
    and all of the necessary scripting, log-ins, security, layouts, graphics, etc.

    Even when you give them some preliminary scripts to test ... they will probably want
    all kinds of new features -- like a project that will never end. So, hopefully, you've
    written-up an actual agreement on what is considered "a done project". This is why
    many programming projects cost thousands of dollars, instead of a few hundred.

    Get everything in writing, and hopefully what they consider the time you spend is the
    same as what you predicted ... or they may not be so happy in the end.

    Good luck.

  • #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlseim View Post
    I feel sort of bad for you ... in that I have a hunch you'll be losing money
    on this project unless you bid the amount high enough. But it doesn't sound
    like you did. I understand about the NDA. There's not much I can say ...
    each part of the project involves two parts .. 1) the user screens, 2) the admin screens,
    and all of the necessary scripting, log-ins, security, layouts, graphics, etc.

    Even when you give them some preliminary scripts to test ... they will probably want
    all kinds of new features -- like a project that will never end. So, hopefully, you've
    written-up an actual agreement on what is considered "a done project". This is why
    many programming projects cost thousands of dollars, instead of a few hundred.

    Get everything in writing, and hopefully what they consider the time you spend is the
    same as what you predicted ... or they may not be so happy in the end.

    Good luck.

    Nothing has been signed other than an NDA. If they think I'll work for a few hundred bucks they are crazy, but i'm pretty sure they aren't crazy.

  • #6
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    Get things in writing, especially the "project completed" determination.
    When your work is considered "complete", and when a re-negotiation is required.

    During the process of programming, things will be added (by them). You may end-up
    with an added feature that causes you to start over, or add considerable time and
    effort to complete. The list of duties, completion dates, and any added items, needs to
    be put in writing ... for your protection and for theirs (it works both ways).

    If it were just a basic website for a company, such as a few pages and maybe a
    pre-made shopping cart, it would not be so important. But your project sounds like
    something that "is not ordinary". Things could go bad really fast. You may need to
    cross the NDA lines in order to get some expert outside help ... that may require you to
    pay someone (a 3rd party). Are you prepared for that possibility?


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